A YOUNG Braintree cadet has received a prestigious promotion to Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major.

Joshua Mesina, 17, was given his new rank at the Essex Army Cadet annual camp in Surrey, making him the first Essex cadet in two years to be receive the promotion.

He joined the cadets at the age of 12 and has worked his way up through the ranks to reach Master Cadet status, a position held by only five per cent of cadets in the UK.

Joshua said: “The best thing about being an Army Cadet is tasting life as a solider.

“The Army Cadet Force has solidified my personality and helped to form me as a young adult.”

Last summer marked the highlight of his cadet career when he took part in the Lord Dannatt Round Brittan Challenge – a tall ship voyage with injured veterans.

He said: “Sailing the tall ship under Tower Bridge was my proudest moment as an Army Cadet and indeed the proudest moment of my life so far.

“It proved that being a cadet is not all just courses and qualifications, the experiences that you have are what makes your time special.”

“It’s helped me to grow as a young leader. I have done things I never thought I could do.

“I never knew that I could go so far, but by trusting myself, especially my instincts and my training, I have been able to become the best possible leader.”

Joshua hopes to bring more attention to the Essex Cadet Force by creating a public drill display team.

He added: “Teaching other cadets has inspired me to work hard and being appreciated by them has helped me strive to overcome the challenges I have faced throughout my time here”.

Colonel Leona Barr-Jones said: “Mesina has worked hard and we are proud as a county to have helped form this young man into the inspiration that he is to his peers.

“He proved his motivational leadership by guiding the team to victory in the county drill competition just days after his promotion with a very detailed and moving display”.

Joshua is now on his way to achieving the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award after hiking through the Scottish Highlands.